Generational Health Continues it’s Slide: We are Less Healthy than Our Parents
We are a nation that’s still largely defined by Baby Boomers — those born in the 20 years after WWII. although the ‘Boomers’ make up just over 1/4 of our population, according to a popular online encyclopedia, “they control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than half of all consumer spending. They buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of over-the-counter drugs, and 80% of all leisure travel.”
But as a group, they should be feeling rather embarrassed. How far has this particular generation fallen as far as their health and ability to accomplish simple day-to-day tasks and normal physical activities is concerned?
If you were to simply go by the numbers of drug ads targeting this specific group of people, they have fallen, it seems, into a bottomless pit. For many Boomers, simple tasks such as GARDENING, climbing stairs, pushing a mower, eating a meal, walking around the block, or even engaging in SEXUAL INTIMACY, are seemingly impossible without a wide array of prescription drugs (HERE).
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY (protracted sigh) —- my hero. Even though we are told over and over and over again that medical technology is saving the day by helping us live longer than we did in decades gone by, this is not completely true (HERE). Are people living longer today than they used to? Maybe. Certainly, if you look at government statistics, they are living longer.
But if you take the time to look below the surface, I’m not so sure (HERE). I recently saw statistics showing that if we were to factor out deaths of infants and children under the age of 12, people living a century ago actually lived longer than we are living today. Should we be surprised? I say not.
People grew up in a different era. Everyone ate from a garden. There were no HERBICIDES / PESTICIDES or GMO’s to contend with. Water came from the well and was not CHLORINATED OR FLUORIDATED. The meat was not tainted with ANTIBIOTICS, ESTROGEN, or growth hormones.
The MILK was not pasteurized, homogenized, or loaded with hormones and antibiotics. Food did not contain ADDITIVES OR PRESERVATIVES. People were active. Hardly anyone was overweight, let alone fat. My, how times have changed (HERE). By the time we got to the Baby Boomer generation, things were heading south in a proverbial landslide.
Despite the fact that Americans spend more on healthcare than any country on the planet (and it’s not even close); and despite the fact that we have a nearly unholy amount of medical technology at our fingertips; and despite the fact that over 10% of our citizens and 40% of our senior citizens are on 5 or more daily prescription medications (the topic of yesterday’s post); our nation’s health is declining — rapidly and dramatically.
But should we be surprised? Again, I say not. Watching the diets and lifestyles of the average American leaves us only to wonder that the problem is not worse than it is (HERE). And if you read yesterday’s post, you realize that these two things (diet and lifestyle) are not being addressed by today’s medical community —– a fact verified again and again in the scientific, peer-reviewed literature (HERE).
According to a brand new study from West Virginia University’s School of Medicine and published in JAMA Internal Medicine (The Status of Baby Boomers’ Health in the United States: The Healthiest Generation?), about 1 in 3 Baby Boomers reported being in “excellent” health a decade ago. Now, that number is a little over 1/3 of that (13%). Baby Boomer obesity has skyrocketed to 40% with no end in sight, and few from within this age group do any sort of meaningful exercise.
Virtually all of the CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES have increased in both frequency and severity in the Baby Boomer generation as well (for instance, twice as many Boomers walk with a cane as the previous generation). In other words, it’s bad and getting worse.
SIDE NOTE: if you think the Boomers are in poor health, just wait for the next generation or two to get a few more miles on their odometers. You have not seen sick until you see people who have grown up in front of a TV, living on PROCESSED FOODS, VACCINATED half to death, and never having consumed a real vegetable in their lives.
“From 1946 through 1964, 78 million children (“baby boomers”) were born in the United States. In 2010, baby boomers made up 26.1% of the US population. Medicine has improved significantly during baby boomers’ lifetimes. Although these advantages have led to a progressively increasing life expectancy, previous studies have shown mixed results regarding whether baby boomers are healthier than prior generations.
Despite their longer life expectancy over previous generations, US baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability, and lower self-rated health than members of the previous generation at the same age. The findings from the present study documenting poorer health status and increased rates of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia support an increased likelihood for continued rising health care costs and a need for increased numbers of health professionals as baby boomers age.”
The study’s lead author told Reuters Health that, “From somewhat of a public health standpoint we’ve actually had a bad scenario. You live longer, but – those extra years you bought – you’re sick… That’s not a good public health outcome.” I would have trouble arguing with the good doctor. People are living longer than ever —- it’s just that on average, their health stinks. How fun is that? Is being alive without a real quality of life really living —- especially when most people hold the key to their own health? Maybe.
The funny thing is, the research team wasn’t really sure why things are the way they are (they mentioned lack of exercise as a possible cause). Although you might disagree with my conclusions, allow me to attempt to answer this question of “why”, by using an analogy from a popular movie from several years ago.
AMERICA’S HEALTHCARE MATRIX
Have you ever seen 1999’s The Matrix? If you’re into sci-fi, kung fu, shoot-em-ups, it’s undoubtedly on your list of all time classics. In the movie, an unassuming computer hacker, online name of ‘Neo’, discovers that the world around him might not be real. He learns that what he thinks is real, is actually a computer-generated facade created by intelligent machines that have taken over the planet (think Terminator here).
The machines have a network of computer intelligence called The Matrix that has enslaved everyone; keeping them stacked by the billions in an incubator-like setting, in induced comas —- all while electronically draining their brain power to run their computer-like machines. Like I said; an all time classic.
Neo meets a legendary computer hacker turned super-Sherpa-ninja, guru, kung fu, mystic (Morpheus), who presents him with a question on which the fate of mankind hinges. Morpheus wants Neo to make a decision. He must choose between taking one of two pills — red or blue. The red pill will wake him up from the Matrix so that he can battle it out against the machines who have control of the real world. However, taking the blue pill would allow him to remain in his nice comfortable life.
Just understand that this life is not really real, but is lived in an incubator in a dreamlike comatose state that is controlled via complex computer programs that Neo has no control over himself. Morpheus warns Neo before he swallows the red pill, “Remember —- all I’m offering you is the truth. Nothing more.” Too bad our medical profession is not handing out much Morpheus-like ‘TRUTH‘ these days. Let me play the part of ‘Doctor’ Morpheus for just a moment.
It is time for all of you (Boomers included) to take the proverbial “red pill”. You need to wake yourself up from your false reality in order to do battle. What are the dragons you need to slay? It’s not rocket science. According to the results of this and other recent studies, you need to declare war against the double-headed dragon of the Westernized 21st century world. You need to change you diet and you need to get active. Like I said, not rocket science.
These twin killers (poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle) bring about slow painful deaths, while leaving you with a schedule full of doctor visits and multiple daily medications —- all while draining the life out of you in a Matrix-like fashion. Wake up! You and only you have the power to change this scenario.
The Matrix can be defeated. But if you are expecting your doctor to do it for you, you’re in for a rude awakening. Throwing more money and more of the same old standard of healthcare at chronic health conditions is no longer a viable solution — as if it ever was to begin with. Take the red pill and arise from your comatose state.
Make the decision to point your life in a new direction — the path of a great adventure. There is more to life than kicking back in your recliner and watching television while stuffing your face with junk food. If you need a place to start, my site has many of the answers you are looking for. The information I am providing you (completely free) will be enough for most of you (not all, but most) can reinvent your life. But I cannot do it for you. You’ll have to do the heavy lifting yourself. HERE is the post!